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Photo by Thomas Favre-Bulle on Flickr. In the battle for the hearts and minds of students, the front line for educators has changed over the last couple of decades.
Rather than the age-old struggle for access, the foremost concern today is one of attention. Sure, there will always be issues of access, but for the most part that battle has been won.
There never has been a more dynamic learning context than face-to-face in close proximity. Everything possible should be done to protect that timeless environment from interruption and distraction. Certainly it gives perspective on the question of whether to allow cell phones in the classroom.
But the ability to get to information is not the problem; what students lack is the critical thinking skills to sort, filter and interpret information. Recent research has shown that students are good at getting to information, but weak at knowing what to do once they get there.
So we must be protective of the classroom as a uniquely effective learning environment. Rule Number Two might be: Attention is a limited resource, so pay attention to where you pay attention. Not surprisingly, the business community responded quickly to the importance of attention.
A study released in January by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that total media exposure per day for young people ages 13 to 18 increased from 7 hours and 29 minutes in to 10 hours and 45 minutes in Use per medium increased, but the largest increase was time spent multitasking.
My work as a teacher confirms this. At the beginning of every semester, I ask my students how many media they use while doing homework.
The great majority of them admit using some combination of two or three of their cell phones, laptops, televisions and iPods while studying.
Out of a class of 25, only one or two still value shutting everything off and focusing completely on their work. Just the other day, the topic was brought up at a departmental meeting where I teach, and the stories and opinions universally negative immediately came gushing forth. The students are warned in the syllabus and on the first day of class, and as soon as one of them pulls his or her cell phone out during class, he or she gets the boot.
Bloomberg has remained steadfast, surviving not only the outrage of parents and students, but a court battle as well.
School systems everywhere are outlawing cell phones, but students are undeterred. In a recent survey PDF by Pew Internet, 65 percent of students admit bringing phones to class even though they are banned.
They put them in their socks, their underwear, their sandwiches, whatever it takes. Fifty-eight percent of the students in those same schools admit sending a text message during class.
To make matters worse, parents are not allied with teachers in this. In the same Pew survey, 98 percent of parents of cell-owning teens say a major reason their child has the phone is so that they can be in touch no matter where the teen is a blessing and a curse to students.
Rule 2 — Attention is a limited resource, so pay attention to where you pay attention Students need to understand that their attention is an in-demand resource, i. When I talk to my students about this, they are very receptive. They have an awareness deep down that they are too busy, too distracted, too harried.
This issue of attention is more than just teachers wanting to control students; it is about the importance of students learning to focus on one thing. A growing amount of research by neurologists confirms what our mommas already told us — we think best and perform best through focused, undistracted attention.
InStanford researchers studied the cognitive capabilities of media multitaskers and came to the following conclusion: Where better than the classroom? Baron, who is executive director of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning, pointed to the varied roles filled by the classroom.
None of these functions harmonizes with intrusion from the outside. Countless people point to a time in their lives where a certain teacher in a certain classroom made all the difference in the world.
The other day I was walking through a building on my campus. Inside one of the small classrooms was a goofy-looking middle-aged man holding court with 25 or 30 students huddled around.
I have no idea what the man was teaching, but he did so with gusto. I slowed past his room, drawn to whatever was happening in there. He loved what he was talking about, and his students were sitting on the edge of their seats, leaning toward him.
Just as I started picking up my pace, the entire room burst into laughter.Many parents support phones in schools so they can coordinate pickups and after-school activities with their children.
They also want to be able to . An essay is a formal piece of writing which describes, analyses or discusses a particular issue. The most common types are: Opinion essays. They present the writer’s personal opinion of the topic, supported with examples and reasons.
Oct 27, · There are so many different debate topics, that can be used in your debate club or for yourself to practice debate, that it is usually hard to find the one topic that you would like to try.
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And when I peer into classrooms, I see students tuning out their peers and teachers and focusing instead on YouTube and social media. These are issues I deal with as an English teacher at Fern Creek.
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